Guest post by Mathayo
Some time back there was a heated debate emanating from an article that purported that Kenya is a failed state. A lot of noise has been made over this issue. Many Kibaki apologists and "patriots" were all up in arms trying to counter the sentiments echoed in the foreign publication.
During the past few weeks, I have been doing some analysis on the way this country is run. I can now conclusively agree that Kenya is in deed a failed state.
Case Study One: Elections
In a few months time, we are headed for the polls. Once again, Kenyans are going to vote for their tribal chiefs. Kikuyus will overwhelmingly vote for Emilio, Luos Raila, Kambas will also do the same for Kalonzo. How many plates of ugali will be added to my house after having voted for someone who happens to come from my tribe? Note that most of us have never even had the chance to meet these people. But we will proudly shout ourselves hoarse declaring our undying support.
"Intellectuals" who support Kibaki will continually rant about how the economy has grown. The "intellectuals" supporting Raila will tell you that he represents "true change"for Kenyans. But why does it happen that, you will never find a Luo Prof supporting Kibaki and vise versa. Since they don't want to appear as petty, they bring about non-issues to back up their tribal choice. Mutula Kilonzo, Prof Anyang Nyong'o and Lawyer Paul Muite are perfect examples of what am talking about. If at all our very learned members of society are playing petty politics, what do you expect of the general populace?
More to that, Raila is the best candidate in the forth coming general elections, but when you look at the characters he's working with, you feel that we're being cheated. How do you enact change when you have all those Kanu faces in your cabinet? There was a time Raila was on Citizen Television; Louis Otieno asked him a question about bringing change of government. Raila wasted no time in saying that Kibaki's government is full of members from the Lancaster House. But Louis got him this time, he asked him, What about Martin Shikuku on your side?
On Saturday, Raila was reported to have said that he would ensure that what belonged to Kenyans is brought back. But how do you do that without interfering with the "peaceful" retirement of past leaders.
Kenyans are in a classical catch 22 situation. All the options we have support the status quo.
Just like Kumekucha keeps saying, hope Githongo is reading this. We need him urgently!!!!
Case Study Two: Police Force
I come from Githurai, of late there have been "Msakos" (Police operation) as we call them. Woe unto you if you are a young man. What has been happening is, around 9.30 pm the Police from Kasarani Police Station have been coming to this dangerous neighbourhood with a lorry. Due to the traffic jam usually experienced on Thika Road, most people happen to be getting home at around this time. But as soon as you alight from the matatus, one meets the police. Without any questioning, you are told to sit down in a big group before being shown your way into the waiting lorry. Crime committed?
I was once caught during the Mungiki uprising. When I asked what crime I had committed, they told me that they would tell the courts am a member of the dreaded sect. I had to part with Kshs 200 albeit bitterly, to buy my freedom Don't forget that they told me that bail for such a crime is Kshs 200,000. In fact, they initially told me to part with Kshs 1,000. However, I didn't have such kind of cash by then. After, a bit of "bargaining" that's when they accepted to take the Kshs 200.
I ask how many innocent people are in jail today since they were not able to buy their freedom? In addition, how many criminals are on the loose?
The other day, people were running helter skelter as soon as the lorry was spotted. Are we supposed to feel safe when police appear or we are supposed to run? I couldn't believe my eyes.
This is just one example, how many roadblocks do we have on our highways? Of what significance are they to the fight against crime. Isn't it an open secret that all the police are after is money?
Well, let me just highlight the others other than ranting here how ours is a failed state no matter how hard we try to deny this.
• Dilapidated infrastructure. Even when thousands throng the Maasai Mara to see the migration of the wildebeests, the road leading there is in a despicable state. A lot of revenue coming from this attraction notwithstanding.
• On being elected into parliament, the current legislators first had to ensure that they filled their stomachs and their pockets.
• Amos Kimunya would rather, award himself and the rest of his crew huge gratuity allowances first and look for funding for the free primary education from donors or through treasury bonds.
• The issue of renumeration seems to be the only one that our legislators agree. Across the political divide, nothing else brings them together, and no other debate attracts a full house. The rest are dogged by lack of quorum.
• Despite the fact that we have no natural resources (oil, gold, diamonds etc), the former regime according to the Kroll report siphoned 500-700 billion to Swiss accounts.
• We have no disaster management program in the country. We are so good at begging when we are hit by both natural and artificial calamities. Why should Israelis come to assist us when a building of not more than six floors collapses?
• A fire department that can't even put out a fire at our own City Hall. Don't forget that they are always late and never have enough water. According to John Gakuo, the City Council collects Kshs 8 billion per year. But when I look at the situation right now, his priorities are more on planting more flowers as fires gut down industries and residential premises.
• When they fail to get to your premises in case of a fire a council in charge of city planning accusing Kenyans of poor planning even when the buck clearly stops with them.
• Talk of buck-passing, every one is good at blaming others. I have a friend who can blame you for anything including why he always seems to be broke, never mind that he is an idler. But government officials have perfected the art.
• The economy growing by 6% but the price of basic commodities rising by an even higher percentage.
• A police commissioner who does not seem to read from the same script as the Minister for Internal Security.
• A country where the Attorney General happens to be a judge and can say nolle prosequi since there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute. If that is the case how many people languishing in jail, deserve that legal term more than the mzungu settler?
The list is long, you can add more on the same.